2021-2022 University Catalog 
    May 28, 2022  
2021-2022 University Catalog

Art Therapy - Specialization in Counseling, M.A.


  • Dana Elmendorf, Program Director, M.A., ATR-BC, LPC
  • Patti Ghubril, M.A., ATR-BC, LPC, ATCS
  • Danielle Moss, D.A.T., ATR-BC, LPC, ATCS, NCC

The Master of Arts in Art Therapy with Specialization in Counseling is designed to teach students the skills necessary for the effective practice of art therapy in a variety of environments (educational, clinical, and rehabilitative) and from a variety of theoretical perspectives. A strong foundation in applied psychology is coupled with an in-depth exploration of art therapy theory and practice. The art therapy program is approved by the American Art Therapy Association.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Art Therapy with Specialization in Counseling, students:

  • Define foundational theories and assumptions that inform art therapy, counseling and marriage and family therapy approaches.
  • Differentiate theories and approaches unique to clinical practice in art therapy, including models for understanding symbolism, metaphor, artistic language, and creativity.
  • Appraise factors which impact the diagnostic process and concepts of health/illness.
  • Critique and select psychological and arts-based research to guide theoretical orientation, treatment planning, and clinical decisions.
  • Implement empathic responses of engagement with others about their interpersonal processes, their art-making processes, and art imagery.
  • Describe essential considerations in regards to the preparation of a therapeutic environment and art media options provided.
  • Summarize cultural competence inherent in the helping professions and respond to the special needs of the underserved in any practice setting.
  • Discriminate legal, ethical and multicultural issues specific to art therapy/counseling practice.
  • Evaluate the impact of therapist self-awareness on clinical decisionmaking and responses and integrate a consistent personal practice of art-making for continued self-reflection, self-awareness, and selfcare. 
  • Design interventions which conceptualize, through assessment and trauma-informed treatment strategies, art therapy practice with diverse populations in a variety of settings.
  • Classify the continuum of current mental health delivery systems in which art therapy and counseling services are offered and the professional role of art therapists within these settings. 
  • Value a commitment to involvement in the profession and continuing development of professional identity through written/artistic reflection and self-directed study.
  • Formulate a unique style of art therapy practice through integration of supervisory feedback and practice experience. 
  • Develop a personal area of inquiry which results in authoring and presenting an integrative culminating project.

Art Therapy Registration and Board Certification, State Counseling Licensure

Students who have completed the art therapy program and a stipulated number of post-education supervised experience hours may apply for Registration (ATR) and qualify for Board Certification (ATR-BC) with the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) and may apply for licensure as a professional counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania. Students interested in obtaining counseling licensure in states other than Pennsylvania are encouraged to research the education, experience, and examination requirements needed to obtain a license in their state of choice. The Seton Hill program is designed specifically to meet the educational requirements for counseling licensure in Pennsylvania.

American Art Therapy Association

The art therapy program at Seton Hill is approved by the American Art Therapy Association.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements include completion of admissions application, official copies of undergraduate transcripts, and an interview with the art therapy faculty.  The applicant is also asked to demonstrate proficiency in art making through submission of a visual portfolio. 

Qualifying for Advanced Standing

The Master of Arts in Art Therapy with Specialization in Counseling is a 63 credit graduate program. Students entering with a master’s degree in a related field (e.g., psychology, counseling, social work) may receive a maximum of 30 credits of advanced standing based on comparability of course requirements. All students are required to complete a minimum of 33 credits in residence at Seton Hill University in Art Therapy.

Program Prerequisites:

In addition to the requirements for admission to the graduate program, applicants to the Master of Arts in Art Therapy must provide evidence of completion of 18 credits of studio art, including classes in drawing, painting, and clay sculpture, and advanced studio coursework in at least one medium. Applicants must also provide evidence of completion of 12 credits in foundational psychological theories, including six credits focusing on developmental and abnormal psychology.  Clearances must be obtained in order to complete field experiences in several classes in the program. Act 33 Child Abuse, Act 34 Criminal Record check, ACT 114 FBI Federal Criminal History Record, and P.P.D. (TB)Test. For instructions on obtaining clearances see ” Art Therapy Clearances Policy for Fieldwork/Internship”.